[Advaita-l] Re: Gods - finite or infinite

ramesh badisa badisa66 at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 10 10:27:58 CDT 2005

“If they can assume any body at any place or any time, they must be

omnipresent to begin with”

Badisa: You are referring to gods in this regard. Right? They cannot be all-pervasive. How? Let us see. It was agreed earlier that gods also have certain form of body. Gita, 18/40 says that even gods are not free from trigunas, which indicates the existence of senses, mind, buddhi for gods too. Prasna Up. 6.5 says that all 16 kalas of an eligible soul will merge in divine at the time of death of the physical body. Before shedding off the body, all these 16 kalas exist even to the gods. In that case, how can gods be all-pervasive? Well, one might argue here that what impediment does it cause the existence of kalas for all-pervasive nature of souls of gods as these kalas could also be all-pervasive along with gods souls. Gita 7/4 says that all these 16 kalas are nothing but prakruti, and thus subjected to dissolution. How come something that can be dissolved be all-pervasive along with the soul? It cannot be. Soul can be all-pervasive once it merges in divine, but not all 16 kalas.
 Since the gods have bodies with 16 kalas etc., these kalas cause the limitation on the souls for being all pervasive, and thus gods cannot be all-pervasive. If this is not correct, then there is no reason why Pras Up. 6.5 has to say the merging of all kalas at the time of death. On the other hand, if one argues that the merging of all kalas can take place at the time of self-realization while still living (JM), this cannot be right. As per this assumption, one has to conclude that JM has no sense organs, or mind, or buddhi etc. Then does it mean JM cannot feel the pain or burning sensation, or hungry etc? It cannot be. JM is not a stone. Then what is the difference between a JM and ordinary people? Ordinary people have many complaints of many things, but JM does not have any. If gyani among devatas is all-pervasive, then as per the same rule, the liberated soul (LS) at Brahma Lok (BL) should also be all-pervasive. Then, as per the same rule, the soul of a jeevan mukta (JM) before
 the death of physical body should also be all-pervasive. This type of understanding is not correct at all. For example, if the LS at BL is all-pervasive (because LS can also assume multiple forms, like gods), then why LS has to attain higher state than the state at BL at the time of pralaya? If the assumption of all-pervasive nature for LS at BL is right, then it means that LS is already achieved the highest state. Then, in that case how is possible to achieve another highest state at pralaya? But Brahma Sutra 4.3.10 says the LS would achieve the highest state at pralaya. This means the state at which the LS present at BL cannot be the highest. Mundaka Up. 3.2.7 says that at the time of salvation, all kalas are withdrawn in to their respective source (prakruti) while the soul merges in divine. When this ‘withdrawing’ of kalas is not happening in case of gyani among devatas or JM or LS at BL, how any body could say that gyani among devatas or JM or LS be all-pervasive? It is not
 right. See, in case of JM, the arup form mind still exists as per Muktiko up. 2.8. The same holds true in case of gyani among devatas or LS at BL too. This arup form of mind goes off only at the time of physical death of the body for gyani among devatas or JM. The state of the soul with mind existing in one form or other cannot be said to be all-pervasive. Brahma Sutra 4.4.17 does not say that the liberated soul is all-pervasive. In sri Shankara bhasyam, it is given as follows:

“The liberated soul which has attained Brahmaloka has all the lordly powers except the power of creation”. 

The term, Jagadvyaparavarjam, is given the meaning as that except the power of creation “etc”.  This term does not necessarily imply the limitation is applied only for creation, but limitations can also for many other things, including all-pervasive nature at that point of time. By acknowledging the attainment BL, the sutra is clearly indicating that localized place for liberated soul at that point of time. Other wise, this sutra would have clearly indicated the all-pervasive nature for liberated souls at BL. But this is never implied here, because it is not the intension of the sutra. So where is the question of LS being all-pervasive? See, all pervasive divine can only create finite universe. Since the liberated souls do not have the power of creation, it means that the liberated souls or gyani among devatas cannot be all-pervasive. To make the discussion more interesting, can you indicate how the supposed all-pervasive soul of 8/24 of Gita could go through many finite lokas, and
 halt at BL? How is it possible for amanav purush to guide this soul from one place to another if it is all-pervasive? Guidance is possible from A to B when both places are finitely located, and thus a finite body can move from place to another. Right? Or shall we just say here that amanav purush in Ch. Up and Br. Up etc are mere stories and have no historicity. In this regard, it is worth to look at Brahma Sutra 4.3.15, where sri Baadarayana indicates the leading of soul of 8/24 of gita by amanav purush. This also indicates the finite representation of soul at that point of time of journey. Sage Jaimini also acknowledges the finite representation of soul at that point of time of journey before salvation at Brahma Sutra 4.3.12. These are the clear-cut evidences to show the temporary finite localization of souls. The souls become all-pervasive divine upon merging in divine at pralaya.

The space inside and out side of the pot is same. But does it mean that the space in the pot is everywhere? No. Because, the space in the case of pot is localized, and will become infinite space once the barrier of pot is broken. Otherwise, the space is said to be localized. The same meaning is conveyed in Muktiko up. 1.16, where it says that after the death of physical body of JM, the soul attains vedehi mukti. The space in the pot is equal to localized soul in the body of JM. Knowing by experience that pot space is same as out side space is realization. Breaking of pot is equal to death of physical body of JM. Attainment of vedehi mukti is equal to becoming of pot space into infinite space.              


“The answer is as I said above Brahman is more than the material 


Badisa: Yes. Divine is not a materialistic thing. But, when the liberated soul or gyani among devatas etc is associated with some kind of body, they cannot be said to be all-pervasive. They will become all-pervasive upon shedding off all types of bodies. This happens at pralaya.  


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